Christmas shoppers applauded and cheered as hundreds of anti-cuts protesters marched through the streets of Manchester on Saturday.
Motorists tooted their horns in support of the 500 demonstrators protesting against the government's austerity cuts and, in particular, the threat to NHS accident and emergency units in the north west.
Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils joined forces with the bakers' union BFAWU, Manchester Trades Council, Manchester Coalition Against Cuts, Disabled People Against Cuts, Unison Manchester's mental health and community branch and the South Manchester Unite's community branch for the protest.
Organiser Stefan Cholewka said: "As we went down the main shopping street there was clapping and hooting of horns. We got a good reception.
"There were community groups and trades unions marching together - coming together to fight austerity. It was a wide range - pensioners and disability groups, mental health groups with their banners, students as well.
"The threat to accident and emergency departments had a lot to do with it. We have to defend them. It is our NHS and we have to defend it."
The Greater Manchester Association of TUCs involves nine trades union councils.
The association is organising a conference in the new year to co-ordinate protest action, bringing trades unions and community and campaign groups together to be heard with one voice.
"People need to be aware that they need to make their voices heard," added Mr Cholewka.
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